Peterbilt Trucks: A Brief History

Peterbilt has been manufacturing some of the best quality trucks in the world since 1939. The company’s iconic red and white trucks have become a symbol of strength and durability, and they remain one of the top choices for truckers looking to upgrade their fleet. Let’s take a look at the history behind these iconic vehicles.

The Early Years

Peterbilt began as a family-owned business, founded by T.A. Peterman in 1939 in Oakland, California. The first Peterbilt truck was designed by T.A. Peterman’s son, George, who had recently graduated from engineering school. He created a vehicle that was lighter and more efficient than any other on the market – a design that would prove to be revolutionary for the trucking industry.

In 1949, T.A. Peterman passed away and his sons took over operations of the business; it quickly grew into one of the largest truck manufacturers in North America with locations across Canada, Mexico, and the United States. In 1958, Peterbilt introduced its first cab-over model which quickly became popular with drivers looking for more maneuverability and better visibility from the driver’s seat.

Modernization & Expansion

In 1980, Peterbilt began modernizing its designs with more aerodynamic cabs and improved engines for better fuel efficiency. As technology advanced throughout the years so did Peterbilt’s trucks; features like air conditioning units, cruise control systems, satellite navigation systems all made their way into newer models of Peterbilts—making them even more comfortable while on long road trips or hauling heavy loads up steep inclines or through tight city streets.

The company also diversified its product line to include specialty vehicles such as firetrucks, logging trucks, garbage trucks and many other types of custom-made vehicles for specific industries—proving that no matter what type of job you need done there is likely a Peterbilt truck that can do it!


Peterbilt Trucks are an American icon – synonymous with power and reliability since 1939 when T.A Peterman founded his company in Oakland California . Since then they have become renowned worldwide for their high quality build standards and innovative designs that keep pace with advancing technology . Whether your needs are large or small , whether you require something specialized or something mainstream , you can trust Peterbilt Trucks to get your job done right every time ! With over 80 years of experience under their belt , it’s no wonder why so many people trust their haulage needs to this legendary brand !